Uvas Canyon Waterfalls

Waterfalls Hike in Uvas Canyon

Date: 20th March 2016

Distance: ~5.5miles

Duration: ½ day

Difficulty: Easy

Best season: After rains, especially when everything is green

Elevation: ~1500 feet

Trail: Parking lot -> Alec Canyon Trail -> Triple Falls -> Alec Canyon Trail (return) -> left on Contour Trail towards basin falls -> Waterfall loop trail -> Parking lot.

Waterfalls: Triple Falls (off Alec canyon trail), Upper Falls (off Contour trail), Basin Falls (Off contour trail), Black Rock Falls (off Waterfall loop).

Info: Trail Map, County Park Website, Gurmeet's Blog, Knob Hill

It feels like it has been forever since I penned down a new hike here. I just noticed that the last one was dated December 2015. Although this isn’t my first hike of the year, it is the first one that I have been to for the first time. The “El-Nino” effect has been good to nature, trees and rivers this year. The vast expanse of hills and mountains that was once brown & dry is now green and alive. I remember discussing seasonal waterfalls with fellow hikers before - waterfalls that can be enjoyed just after a rainy day but otherwise is dry or just trickling down the entire year; and I’ve always wanted to go see these actual waterfalls around the bay area. Ever since I’ve moved here California has been in drought. With all the rains over the past few months I decided to hike Uvas Canyon and enjoy all of the waterfalls the park offered.

As always this was a last minute event I planned but we turned out to be a good 11 people. We got to the trailhead (Parking lot) by 8:15am. We waited folks to pour in and started our hike at 8:50am. The 40 odd minutes were spent by kicking a football around warming ourselves up for the hike. Only when we go to the park gate did I realize that I had actually been here before. The last time I was here, it was hiking up Knob HIll via the Knibbs-Knobs Trail (see here). Shruti and I were joined by Praveen & Kanchan, Alhaad, Anshuman, Keerthi & Shruthi, Ankit & Sonam, Nidhi. We started hiking along the Alec Canyon Trail which gained elevation at a consistent pace. There wasn’t any flatness for quite some time. It is very comparable to the Knibbs-Knobs Trail in the same park. After the climb we got to point where the contour trail starts to the right. The contour trail is comparatively narrower and is easy to miss. A while later I could hear the flow of water. We were getting closer to our first water falls - “The Triple Falls”. A trail marker points right to triple falls. It isn’t too far out from Alec Canyon trail and the view of the falls was just splendid. There was much more water here than the Berry Creek Falls last year. (I’m sure Berry Creek is just massive right now).

After photoshoot & resting for a while, made our way back to the Contour trail cut-off. The hike from Triple falls to the next falls was a long one - through the narrow trail that meandered the face of the mountains and after one point travelled along with a stream. Swanson creek cut the contour trail almost 1.5 miles in. Although there was a lot of water, it wasn’t as much as to hinder our route crossing the stream. Ankle deep water was more fun than dangerous to cross the stream. We got to “Upper Falls” although for me it was more like Paradise. Sunlight danced in teh flow of the river making way through the strong grasps of the trees. The trails seemed quited crowded here on. There were a lot of people out here enjoying the same beautiful sights. We took a short hike to Basin falls. We found this falls to ourselves like the Triple falls.

The last waterfall we stoppbed by was the “Black Rock Falls” along the Waterfall loop. The waterfall loop itself was a great way to enjoy all the beauty that Uvas Canyon offered. We finished the hike by 12:30pm. All of us stopped by a very nice Indian place for a heavy lunch after the hike (to maintain balance :-) ). Uvas Canyon offers both elevation when you choose the Knibbs-Knobbs Trail up to summit road and also creeks & waterfalls along the waterfall loop which I would term as Family Frendly! Looks forward for more new hikes this year.